Grandma’s china is delightful, On a night so cold and frightful. As ghouls and goblins shriek and moan, Why not try an almond scone? Would you like some tea to drink, While the demons darkly slink? Shadows pass across the moon, And you’ll be getting sleepy soon…
During the height of the pandemic, to what extent did you avail yourself of online shopping for meals, groceries, and other goods and services? If you did use online shopping and delivery services, now that things have eased up a bit, has your reliance on or use of such service continued at the same rate, increased, or decreased. To what extent?
In March of 2020, when we all realized that Covid was a bfd, I stayed home from work for a while and was terrified to go out, touch anything, or breathe. While I had been ordering miscellaneous stuff online for years (vitamins, clothes, gifts, etc.), I had never used grocery or meal delivery services. I tried to set up grocery delivery during the beginning of the lockdown and every attempt failed ~ through Amazon, Target, and Vons. I’d load up a virtual cart only to be told at checkout that none of the items were actually available and/or that there were no delivery times available. It was incredibly frustrating.
So I kept going to the grocery store. I went super early, the minute they opened, and hurried through, masked of course, trying to touch as little as possible. When I got home, I swiped everything with alcohol wipes, including my steering wheel, purse, keys, credit card, and all the groceries. It was completely nucking futz. Naturally, I was extremely relieved when it turned out we didn’t have to do any of that alcohol wiping.
But as far as shopping during the worst of Covid (assuming the worst is over!), I basically carried on as usual. I went to meatspace stores to buy things I needed that I couldn’t get online. The above pic is from a farmers’ market outing with friends. We felt relatively safe outdoors, though we wore masks even at the beach, which in my opinion is an enormous pain. I hate masks. They are hot and annoying, and they make my glasses slip off. My glasses actually fell off and broke at one point (in my office building) and are currently held together with superglue. Yes, I understand this is minor compared to being on a ventilator, thanks.
I’m triple vaxxed now and lately I’ve been doing whatever ~ restaurants, movies, game nights indoors, etc. I will be flying to NorCal in November to spend Thanksgiving with my daughter and son-in-law. Last year I drove, but ugh… 7 hours in the car is really painful for my back. I feel safer now that I’ve had so many vaccines (not just for Covid but also for the flu and shingles), and California has a high percentage of sensible people who are fully vaxxed as well. I don’t always love living here with the ridiculous taxes and cost of housing, but I am grateful for the way most of us in this state have behaved during the pandemic.
When my girls were little I loved decorating for the holidays ~ especially Halloween. But as they grew older, it seemed rather pointless. As I downsized from a house to an apartment, I threw out my themed decor. The above pic is from my office pre-Covid. It was fun to jazz up the reception desk when people still came in. Now, almost all business is done via phone and email. We shall see if things return to ”normal” next year and I can drag Mr. Bones out of hiding…
These chocolate spiders are my favorite fun dessert to make for Halloween and they are so easy! You melt a bag of chips, pour in a can of crunchy chow mein noodles, shape into blobs on wax paper, pop on eyeballs, refrigerate. To be honest, we never called them ”spiders,” nor did I bother trying to shape legs. I just made blobs and we called them ”creatures.” I started out by using mini M&M for eyes and later discovered the cinnamon red hot option. You can get fancy and mix in melted white choccy too. How do they taste? Well, to me, pretty nauseating after a couple bites, but that is not the point. They look cool and kids dig ’em!
Of course, I am always up a batch of pumpkin bars or yummy frosted cupcakes to decorate with festive sprinkles and such. In fact, I used a pic of me holding Halloween cupcakes for the cover of my first book (I have since changed it to a bonfire).
I’ve seen some peeps asking about NaNoWriMo, which I have participated in many times over the years, hitting 50K words on several occasions. I did not NaNo last year though, nor am I doing it this year. Frankly, I can’t imagine ever doing it again.
I achieved my goal of completing full-length novels ~ I have 4 novels, 1 novella, 4 short stories, and 6 books of poetry, all available for purchase on Kindle. None of them sell, partly because I despise marketing and partly because there are so many indie books for sale that it is impossible for an ordinary writer to get any attention, marketing or not. I have friends who advertise and they do sell more books, but the sales do not exceed what they spend on ads. And maybe the simple fact is that I am not good enough to stand out from the crowd… something to consider.
But doesn’t my love for writing overcome such a silly concern as making money at it? Well, yes and no. I can post poetry here on my blog to get my words seen by readers, and that’s satisfying even without financial compensation. Toiling away on a novel month after month only to get a handful of buyers? Nah. That is not appealing. In fact, my feeling right now is that I will be leaving my half-finished novels in the cloud until the end of time, or deleting them. It troubles my OCD to have WIPs lurking, so it’s more likely I will delete them. They are romances, so no great loss there.
I have something else however: a series of longer short stories that ultimately connect into a whole. About half are finished, which leaves 6 or so to write. I really like these and don’t want to abandon them, so I’m thinking about posting them here. I don’t want them lost in the mass of prompts and such, so I’ll have to figure out a better way, such as making a separate page for each.
There’s a quote going around about how writers turn into monsters if we can’t express ourselves. First, I think it is bad for anyone not to have an avenue of expression for their emotions, whether it’s writing, painting, or simply chatting to a friend. Second, as far as my “monster” tendencies, they have nothing to do with writing (or not writing) and everything to do with stressful circumstances. Finally, for the past few weeks, I’ve been watching more TV than writing, and I don’t feel the least bit monstery because of that.
But what if I didn’t even have a blog? Well, for most of my life I didn’t have one and that was fine. There were many years I wrote nothing but the occasional letter. I am still enjoying this blog though, especially since my refresh, and I appreciate the blogging community. But I do have to take the occasional step back and reevaluate all the things. I haven’t been participating in as many prompts as I used to, particularly the ones that specify word count and/or syllables. I find that makes my work sound stilted. Basically, I only do prompts that actually inspire my creativity, including words of the day when they combine to trigger a fictional scene in my mind or a burst of poetic lines.
I am a vegan vampire And also gluten-free; I don’t wanna drink your blood If you’ve eaten at McD’s. I maintain a clean deadstyle, So I stay away from bars And biting necks of those Who drive gas-guzzling cars. It’s so hard to find a perfect Person to feast upon; I’m passing out with hunger— And look! It’s almost dawn!
Melanie terrifies us today with the reminder that it’s the third week of October, yikes! Let’s get to her freshly hatched questions, shall we…
1.Are you easily frightened or startled?
Yes, actually, and I have always been. A boy who liked to tease girls in 7th grade by coming up behind them and tickling their ribs did that to me only ONCE. I automatically whirled around and elbowed him super hard in the stomach. Oopsie!
2. If you were a ghost, what location do you think you would haunt? Is it the same or different from the location you’d wantto haunt?
I would haunt a couple exes to see how miserable they are without me, and if they aren’t miserable, I’d try to change that. Not sure why I couldn’t visit more than one, since I’m a ghost and can float about as I please with no need for advance registration.
3. What do you see in your mind’s eye when you close your eyes? (I know somebody will answer ‘the inside of my eyelids”, so I took the temptation away by answering that first! 😜 Feel free to use that answer if you like though, or pass. It’s ALL good!)
It depends what I’m thinking about before I close my eyes. Right now, I see the faces of exes because of the previous question!
4. If a Semi (Big Rig in Americanese) (lorry or trolley over the pond) were about to smash into a crowd, and you could divert the vehicle’s course to hit only one person, would you? How would you decide who would become the victim?
Of course! And there would be no problem deciding, since I already have a list. (See question 2.)
5. Please feel free to share what makes you feel warm and cozy when the wind blows cold?
Welcome to my refreshed Monday Peeve! Unburden yourself of an annoyance and you’ll feel better afterward. Or not. Complain in my comments or crab in your own post. Doesn’t have to be on a Monday. You do you.
I know I’ve ranted about celebs before, but this time I’m peeving about their critics, specifically the media’s gasping over a celeb who has the audacity to age. HOW DARE THEY! The latest celeb under attack is none other than Tom Cruise, who had the nerve to show up in public recently sporting some weight gain and hair loss. Yep, the dude is about my age (60) and no matter how much money you pour into beauty treatments, eventually you will look older regardless. The media can’t bear it. They go on about the fact that Tom looks SO DIFFERENT. Hello, it’s called normal biology, so get a grip. It’s despicable how “journalists” gleefully post the worst pics of a celeb they can find in order to rattle on about how much they’ve changed, as if somehow movie stars are superhuman. Nope. They wrinkle up just like the rest of us, though it sometimes takes them longer due to plastic surgery, etc. I almost feel sorry for the older celebs, but then I think nah who cares. They can buy themselves a new house in consolation.
However, the problem trickles down to the rest of us with this hammering away that the only acceptable way to exist as a human, not to mention finding a romantic partner, is to be young and dewy-skinned, slim and gym-buffed, with fabulously thick and shiny hair. Most people don’t fit this description, ever.
Jim Adams is our tuneful host for Song Lyric Sunday and today’s prompt is from Di @ pensitivity101. I chose “Because the Night” by the Patti Smith Group. The song was written by Patti and Bruce Springsteen and was first released as a single in 1978 from Patti’s album Easter. Bruce originally did an early version of the song himself, live in 1977, but he wasn’t happy with it. Jimmy Iovine, who was Bruce’s engineer and Patti’s producer, suggested giving it to her. Bruce agreed and Patti wrote her own lyrics. It became her biggest hit, reaching No. 13 on Billboard and No. 5 in the UK. Many other artists have covered the song, including Natalie Merchant (10,000 Maniacs), who ended up at No. 11 on Billboard. Bruce continues to perform his version at concerts, while Patti’s version is her best-known song…
“Have I doubt when I’m alone Love is a ring, the telephone Love is an angel disguised as lust Here in our bed until the morning comes Come on now try and understand The way I feel under your command Take my hand as the sun descends They can’t touch you now, Can’t touch you now, can’t touch you now…”
I used to wear a mask And hide the truths about me, Worried if people knew There’d be no sympathy. But one day I removed it, Put it high upon a shelf, And no one cared at all— They were focused on themselves.